SkyCity Auckland has pulled its participation in the next Auckland Pride Parade over the decision by organisers to ban police marching in uniform.
The decision comes after a slew of supporters cut ties with the annual parade, to be staged in February next year.
SkyCity Auckland general manager human resources Claire Walker said that as a company that championed diversity and inclusion in the workplace it could not condone the exclusion of uniformed police from the parade.
"Having taken a leadership stance as one of the first Rainbow Tick-accredited employers, SkyCity is a proud and active supporter of LGBTIQ+ people, both among our own diverse and talented staff and the wider Rainbow community," Walker said.
"We have supported previous Pride Parades as a celebration of this community.
"We were also very proud to have our values of tolerance and inclusion recognised at the Deloitte Top 200 Awards, where SkyCity won the Diversity and Inclusion leadership category.
"Regrettably, SkyCity feels that the decision of the parade's organisers not to include uniformed police in next year's event is not consistent with those values, and therefore we have made the decision not to participate.''
Walker said the decision was made following feedback from SkyCity's own Rainbow community.
NZME, publisher of the NZ Herald, ended its Pride sponsorship yesterday while the Rainbow New Zealand Charitable Trust pulled its funding in response to the ban after a unanimous decision from its board.
Earlier this week the Vodafone New Zealand's Rainbow Whānau and the New Zealand Defence Force both axed their attendance from the march down Ponsonby Rd on February 16.
The parade's board chair Cissy Rock has previously said organisers remain committed to holding the event.
"The 2019 Auckland Pride Parade was always intended to be a place to cultivate our roots in activism and protest. We have always welcomed business groups and institutions who wish to participate in a way that works for the safety of all members of our Rainbow community," Rock said in a statement.
Rock said the board tried to ensure that those who participated in the parade "worked proactively" with them to ensure the safety of the Rainbow community was at the forefront.
"Unfortunately, institutions such as the police were not able to compromise with the Pride board despite months of consultation with the community that highlighted more work needed to be done in order for participants to feel safe with the police's presence in the parade.
"The Pride Parade is so much more than its corporate sponsors or government institutions. It is about our Rainbow community coming together to both celebrate and fight for a future where everyone is free from systemic discrimination.
"We remain open to finding common ground with institutions that are working towards ensuring they are truly Rainbow inclusive, but have yet to get to that point."